Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
The American Animal Hospital Association has released what it calls first-of-their-kind guidelines designed to prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections.
The document, available at http://bit.ly/2ScVeib, outlines standard operating procedures in areas such as cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, identifying high-risk patients, and managing contagious patients in isolation.
“Infection prevention and biosecurity are key components in the delivery of high-quality patient care,” said AAHA’s CEO, Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (Emeritus). “We believe infectious disease prevention and control is essential to veterinary medicine and the health of our patients, clients and team.
“Knowing that much has changed in this arena in human medicine and with the availability of new, effective compounds, we believe the time is right to make certain the veterinary profession remains up to date.”
Infection Control Task Force chairman Jason Stull, VMD, MPVM, Ph.D., DACVPM, described the guidelines as a “succinct how-to manual.”
“With these guidelines, every practice can have an infection control program of which they can be proud and that will protect patient, owner and personnel health,” Dr. Stull said.
For example, a section titled “Identifying High-Risk Patients” lists questions that should be asked of a client making an appointment.
“If the patient is acutely coughing, sneezing, vomiting or having diarrhea … the pet should not enter the reception area,” the document advises. “Evaluate such animals before entry into the building or immediately transport them to a dedicated examination or isolation room depending on practice policy.”
The guidelines were published in the November/December issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association.